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miserably perish for want of succour and assistance. Which, in regard we make no question but that it is your majesty's opinion and determination, there can be nothing in our opinion more prudently resolved, than to join our reputation, authority, counsels, forces, and whatever else is needful, with all the speed that may be, in pursuance of so pious a design. In the mean time, we beseech Almighty God to bless your majesty."*
Without any direct denunciation of war, he adopts a similar tone towards other states. His letter to Holland closes with the following words :-“We are ready to take such other course and counsels with yourselves, in common with the rest of our reformed friends and confederates, as may be most necessary for the preservation of just and good men, upon the brink of inevitable ruin; and to make the duke himself sensible that we can no longer neglect the heavy oppressions and calamities of our orthodox brethren.”+
To the Protestant cantons of Switzerland he says, referring to the duke,—“But if his mind be obstinately bent to other determinations, we are ready to communicate our consultations with yours, by what most prevalent means to relieve and re-establish most innocent men, and our most dearly beloved brethren in Christ, tormented and overlaid with so many wrongs and oppressions, and preserve them from inevitable and undeserved ruin. Of whose welfare and safety, as I am assured, that you, according to your wonted piety, are most cordially tender; so, for our own parts, we cannot but in our opinion prefer their preservation before our most important interests, even the safeguard of our own life."
Of the King of France he especially requests, "that you will afford a secure sanctuary and shelter within your kingdom to all those miserable exiles that shall fly to your majesty for protection, and that you will not give permission to any of your subjects to assist the Duke of Savoy to their prejudice." * Prose Works, vol. ii. p. 253. + Ibid. p. 255. Ibid. p. 256.
To Frederick III., King of Denmark, he proposes cooperation in a more active resistance. And to the Senate of Geneva, as being nearest to the scene of persecution, he transmits two thousand pounds, not from the national revenue, but wisely raised by voluntary subscription, to be distributed by them, for the immediate relief of the sufferers.
It has been already observed, that the inner and more private feelings of Milton's mind found their expression in his sonnets. One of these is devoted to the sufferings of these persecuted Christians, and affords a further indication of the deep sympathy he felt in their wrongs.
ON THE LATE MASSACRE IN PIEDMONT.
Avenge, O Lord, thy slaughter'd saints, whose bones
Lie scatter'd on the Alpine mountains cold;
When all our fathers worship'd stocks and stones,
Who were thy sheep, and in their ancient fold
Mother with infant down the rocks. Their moans
To Heaven. Their martyr'd blood and ashes sow
O'er all the Italian fields, where still doth sway
A hundred fold; who having learn'd thy way,
These tender and generous sentiments, justify the love which mingles with our admiration of this incomparable man. His political writings, less applicable to days of constitutional rule and popular freedom, may be regarded indeed as models of eloquent composition, but in other respects comparatively as historic curiosities. His ecclesiastical writings will be coeval with the Christianity which they illustrate ; and his letters of state will grow in esteem with the growth of Britain in freedom and moral elevation, and will ever looked back upon as contributing no insignificant rays to the effulgence that halos this precious
period of our national history. The annals of that era are illuminated with names consecrated to the homage of posterity, by the various claims of genius, piety, and learning, Newton and Barrow, Baxter, Taylor, and Bunyan, Hobbes, Clarendon, and South, but the name of Milton will fix the gaze of all ages as the cynosure of that bright constellation.
PUBLICATION OF THE EIKON BASILIKE-AUTHORSHIP OF THE EIKON
MILTON REPLIES IN THE EIKONOKLASTES-PUBLICATION OF THE
DEFENCE OF THE T'EOPLE OF ENGLAND-DESCRIPTION OF THE
Multon's respite from the warfare of controversy was destined to be of short duration. The Presbyterians, hostile to the Parliament on account of the sentiments of religious liberty with which they were animated, were availing themselves of the feelings awakened by the execution of Charles to deepen disaffection to the government. Their efforts were seconded from an unexpected quarter. A book was published which purported to be the production of the king, and bore the Greek title, “ Eikon Basilikė, the Portraiture of his Sacred Majesty in his Solitudes and Sufferings.” was the curiosity excited by this book, which was then supposed to have been really written by Charles the First in his own defence, that forty-seven editions of it, amounting to forty-eight thousand five hundred copies, were disposed of in a single year. The Parliament were naturally apprehensive lest the effect of this should be to interrupt the peace and prosperity which, under their auspices, were beginning to be re-established. They therefore intrusted to
Milton the task of exposing and confuting the mis-statements and sophisms it contained.
Milton's reply was entitled “Eikonoklastes," the selection of which name he thus explains :-“In one thing I must commend his openness, who gave the title to this book, ELKÒV Bao dun, that is to say, The King's Image; and by the shrine he dresses out for him, certainly would have the people come and worship him. For which reason this answer also is entitled, “Eikonoklastes,' the famous surname
Greek emperors, who, in their zeal to the command of God, after long tradition of idolatry in the church, took courage and broke all superstitious images to pieces."*
Respecting the authorship of the “Eikon," there seems but little room for reasonable doubt. The multitudes who bought and devoured it on its first appearance doubtless regarded it as the genuine production of Charles; and Dr. South, in one of his Sermons on the Anniversary of the King's Execution, gives a somewhat fantastic reason for the same belief, viz. that no one else could have written it. “ For,” he adds, “it is composed with such an unfailing majesty of diction, that it seems to have been written rather with a sceptre than a pen.” There is abundant proof that it was the production of one Dr. Gauden. This, however, was not demonstrated until after the Restoration, though Milton, in several passages, shows that his sagacity was not imposed upon by the forgery. Nevertheless, he follows his antagonist closely, chapter by chapter, through every stage of Charles's reign, laying open the falsity of his historical statements and suppressions, and driving away his sanctimonious pretensions before a storm of indignant satire. Notwithstanding this, Milton affirmed with perfect truth, “ I did not insult over fallen majesty, as is pretended. I only preferred Queen Truth to King Charles. The charge of insult, which I foresaw that the malevolent would urge,
* Prose Works, vol. i. p. 313.